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Has Online Advertising Influenced Our Attention Spans?

Has Online Advertising Influenced Our Attention Spans?

With the popularity of quick and flashy entertainment, many wonder about the possible long-term side effects this type of content may have on our mental state. After years of indulging with our favorite brands and influencers, are we shortening our attention spans? 

While this question is best left to the medical community, marketers should also consider these questions when designing an ideal business campaign. Online ads in the past may no longer be as relevant to a company’s marketing framework due to frequent use and users’ lack of attention spans. 

The Overabundance of Online Ads

Online ads are highly accessible, while also being highly competitive. Every company with a sufficient marketing budget can afford to advertise online. Online ads are now easier than ever to create and publish and come in a variety of forms, including social media and search campaigns. 

It is important to note that while online ads seem be more accessible for small businesses, this does not automatically result in more sales. Because of their perceived accessibility, online ads do not invoke the same amount of user attention as in the past. A user can expect to see an estimated 4,000 – 10,000 online ads per day. It becomes rather difficult to stand out to your target audience due to a plethora of published content. 

Limited Attention Leads to ‘Banner Blindness’

The increase in advertisements has led many internet users to habitually ignore all forms of search and display content. Commonly referred to as “banner blindness”, this phenomenon in human behavior has left many digital marketers wondering how to reach their audience. 

An Infolinks study found that only 14% of users could recall the last online display ad they viewed. With the increasing number of online ads, it’s only a matter of time before marketers will need a new way to reach their audience. 

Automatic Actions to Avoid Online Ads

Users who frequent YouTube frequently confront video ads before viewing their desired content. Sometimes these video ads offer the opportunity to skip after a certain threshold. A MAGNA/IPG Media Lab survey reports that 65% of participants skip video ads as soon as there is a chance to do so. 

While video skipping is nothing new, a rising trend among those that skipped revealed that 76% skipped ads out of ingrained habits. This means that users are skipping ads without ever acknowledging them. With video ads becoming more and more common, users’ attention is rapidly declining by the day. 

Direct Mail is Key

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While it may seem like online advertising is the most common tactic for marketers, traditional marketing is just as strong as ever. In contrast to digital ads, direct mail holds the user’s attention for much longer and read much more frequently. JIC Mail reports that nearly 65% of all mail is opened and read 4.2 times by each receiver. 

Due to its long lifespan and high user attention, direct mail is the answer for small business marketing. Not only does the low competition encourage residents to read their mail, but its physical form creates a lot less intrusive presence within the home.  

At DK Solutions, we have changed the way direct mail delivers. We prioritize only the highest quality leads for your business with our Targetlist methodology. Our clients enjoy 2-3 times the response rate on their direct mail campaigns thanks to our approach. 

Starting a new marketing campaign? Interested in learning more about direct mail marketing? Contact us today and we will be happy to discuss the best method to reach your customers. 

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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